Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters

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C_0743287967I’ve spoken several times on the perils of going to the gym. It is a place rife with stories of women who are in the never-ending search for the perfect body, or perhaps even more illusive – someone else’s body.

Not too long ago I was going nowhere on the stationary bike in my gym and noticed two young women cycling their brains out in front of me – they couldn’t have been more than 14 or 15. Both dressed rather provocatively, in the shortest of shorts accompanied with t-shirts tied tightly in a knot under their sports bras with lots of beaded bracelets (Lindsay style) and spray on tans. They didn’t strike me as young athletes in training, but rather two friends in the gym trying to improve their bodies – bodies that were by anyone’s standards already beautiful. Well, this is America afterall (and a fat America at that), so who says two teenage women shouldn’t be spending their spare time in the gym?

Ok, me. When I was 14 never, never, would my friends and I have considered the gym a fun way to spend a sunny afternoon – so what do we suppose brought these two young women to the gym? A lack of athletic opportunities, no physical education in the schools, or something more sinister?

A wonderful new book has just been published this March, entitled, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body published by Simon & Schuster’s Free Press. Courtney E. Martin a talented young writer, has written a book about disordered eating and body image from a new and fresh perspective. From Courtney’s website:

"Filled with information from expert psychologists and hundreds of interviews with women with eating disorders, Courtney E. Martin’s Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters is a wake-up call to women of all ages and races to recognize the epidemic of eating disorders and what it’s doing to them, their daughters, friends, and relatives. Courtney Martin argues passionately that women must commit themselves to developing new attitudes about their bodies, and redirect the negative energy they spend on denying themselves contentment in order to become re-engaged with the possibilities of a better life." – Simon & Schuster

This may be the perfect gift to give that special young woman in your life who just doesn’t think you get it.

For more on the subject, read an article by Marsha, "Healthy Eating, Feeding Our Daughters Well", here.

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